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The farewell discourse of Jesus is continued in today’s gospel, (Jn 14:15-21). And here the context of leave-taking and eventual return of Jesus is well pronounced: “I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate…I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you”, (vv16, 18).

The word ‘paraklētos’ (παράκλητος) is rare. From its verbal form parakleō ( παράκαλεω ), its precise translation is difficult to determine but understood to have the underlying sense of comfort, encouragement, exhort. If literally rendered it may be taken to mean “one called (‘kletos’) alongside (‘para’)” to help, offer comfort, etc.

Referring to the Holy Spirit in the gospel of St. John, it is the second advocate, (Jesus being the first: “If anyone does sin, we have Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one”, 1 Jn 2:1). It performs several roles one of which has the sense of a legal or forensic work of a counselor who comes as a prosecutor to convict the world immersed in untruth and perversity, (16:8-11). Thus it is the witness in defense of Jesus and a spokesman for him in the context of his trial by his enemies. A consoler of the disciples, it takes Jesus’ place among them and dwells within them (v17); and as the Spirit of truth, it continues Jesus’ teaching ministry and guides the disciples and thus their helper (15:26) . In other words the Holy Spirit’s mission is one of revealing the truth, convicting of sin, and applying the context of Jesus’ teaching to the lives of his disciples to enable them to maintain a vital relationship with God through his personal indwelling presence.

To call the Spirit our Advocate says a lot more to us than Paraclete. It means we have someone who represents our interests, and our defense, and the one who fights for us. We have not one but two advocates who accompany us on our journey. We only have to observe the commandment of love so that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit may remain in us (vv15, 21; 1 Jn 2:5). Amen.

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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